January 4, 2011 - 8:52am
Today's Poll: What would you do first to balance the budget?
posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
January 4, 2011 - 9:29am#1
The question perpetuates a myth about the federal budget, and that is the relationship between Social Security and the budget. There is no direct relationship. Social Security is not part of the budget, so cutting it has no impact on balancing the budget. The budget is funded by federal income taxes. Social Security is funded by direct contributions of employees and employers. The two are separate.
January 4, 2011 - 9:36am#2
From: http://blog.american.com/?p=23800 "However, one thing that the payroll tax holiday does clarify is the Left’s claim that Social Security is “self-financing” and “doesn’t contribute a dime to the deficit.” That was their argument for keeping Social Security off the fiscal commission’s chopping block: if the program doesn’t contribute to the federal deficit, then there’s no justification for reducing Social Security as part of a deficit reduction package. Well, that was then. Today, if we’re funding a $120 billion payroll tax cut using general tax revenues—borrowed general tax revenues, remember—then Social Security is no longer self-financing and, yes, it does contribute to the deficit. Of course, one could argue that Social Security has been adding to the deficit ever since the stimulus bill, which included President Obama’s “Making Work Pay” tax credit. This tax credit was explicitly a refund of part of the Social Security payroll tax, financed with other tax revenues. The $116 billion 10-year cost of the payroll tax cut is effectively added to the deficit and the debt, although it remains to be seen if the credit will survive."
January 4, 2011 - 9:44am#3
Why isn't cut Medicaid up there? That's what needs to be cut!
January 4, 2011 - 9:45am#4
Reposting this: Bar Stool Economics Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this: The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59. So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until on day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings). The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings). Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!" "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier. David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics University of Georgia For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible. <<<
January 4, 2011 - 9:48am#5
Why can't the idiots in charge just CUT the entitlements/gov't salaries by 10% across the board? These agencies need to downsize. The people who are double and tripple dipping into govt retirement accounts need to be cut down to size! there is LOTS of $ out there without taking wealthy peoples $$ that has ALREADY BEEN TAXED.
January 4, 2011 - 10:34am#6
How about: waste, fraud, abuse and corruption in general? Redundancy between departments and agencies, Foreign Aid, Wars? We should start there before fleecing the rich, yanking safety nets and taking away from the military. We need to go to less social programs, less military and a fairer tax system, but I wouldn't start there.
January 4, 2011 - 10:45am#7
January 4, 2011 - 11:22am#8
I am shocked that CBS would word a poll that gave people the choice of either be less safe, take money away from the elderly,ill and infirmed or take money from the rich so they could create the headline asserting that most american want the rich taxed more. Just shocked. Oh wait, what is the opposite of shocked?
January 4, 2011 - 11:28am#9
Agree Dave. I think a combination of "all of the above" would be beneficial and wise. Just for grins, I went back in the history of U.S. income tax, from 1913 to present, and I must say, I was startled at what the top rates have been historically. Nowhere close to what they currently are. http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html#fed_individual_r...
January 4, 2011 - 2:01pm#10
$766,951,000,000 for Iraq. $365,954,000,000 for Afghanistan. $356,200,000,000 for TARP $1,500,000,000,000 for Fed Reserve Rescue $97,400,000,000 for automotive bailout. $17,000,000,000 annual public subsidy for pharmaceutical R/D billed back to domestic consumers Starters?
January 4, 2011 - 7:05pm#11
Julie's first post...'nuff said. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
January 4, 2011 - 10:49pm#12
CM Alot of tarp and auto bailout has been paid back.. Julie great ex . of how it all works...
January 5, 2011 - 2:07am#13
Per http://www.tarppayback.com/ 12/15/2010 "Overall, the Treasury says that they paid out $389 billion under the TARP and has so far received $266.5 billion back." Per http://www.redstate.com/barrypopik/2010/04/22/gm-repaid-all-of-its-tarp-... 04/22/2010 "General Motors announced that the company paid $4.7 billion to the U.S. government and $1.1 billion to the Canadian government, fulfilling its obligation agreed to when it received its initial bailout funds. In total, GM received $52 billion from the U.S. government, but only $6.7 billion of this amount was considered a loan. The company already paid back $2 billion, so this $4.7 billion is the last payment." What about the rest of the $52 billion? I find it interesting: to use the analogy of the movie "Animal House," as much as Delta Tau Chi would seem to represent the middle-class, those who tolerate corporate welfare, yet loathe social welfare; well, they seem best portrayed by the Kevin Bacon character begging, "Thank you sir, may I have another!"
January 5, 2011 - 6:48am#14
I'll never understand how anyone can justify taxing the wealthiest Americans at a higher tax rate. I have a better idea. Lets scrap the so called "income tax" and go to a spend tax. What the government loves to call income, really isn't income at all. It's compensation. You gave up a given number hours of work for a universal trade medium called money, cash. There was no gain which is what income really is. If everyone paid a tax when the dollar is spent instead or when it was compensated, EVERYONE would become a tax payer. It's also a much more efficient form of tax collection. There's simply no justification to taxing anyone at a higher rate just because they're successful and have a higher paying job than you. Here's an example of fraud that's costing us $billions, literally: http://www.nhcaa.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?webcode=anti_fraud_resource_c... The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA) estimates conservatively that 3% of all health care spending—or $68 billion—is lost to health care fraud. That’s more than the gross domestic product of 120 different countries, including Iceland, Ecuador, and Kenya. Other estimates by government and law enforcement agencies place the loss due to health care fraud as high as 10 percent of our nation’s annual health care expenditure—or a staggering $226 billion—each year. And the cost of health care will only continue to rise, which means the price tag associated with health care fraud will rise too unless we can work together to combat it.
January 5, 2011 - 7:17am#15
Doug, It's called "Envy". You have more, so I want it.
January 5, 2011 - 7:51am#16
IDIOTS! During 2008, the bottom 95 percent (AGI under $159,619) paid 41.3 percent of the total collected, a larger share than the 38.0 percent paid by the top 1 percent (AGI over $380,354). The top-earning 5 percent of taxpayers (AGI over $159,619), however, still paid far more than the bottom 95 percent. The top 5 percent earned 34.7 percent of the nation's adjusted gross income, but paid approximately 58.7 percent of federal individual income taxes. From: http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html They already pay more then they should. These are the people who invest in ideas and companies that produce jobs for normal people. Taking more of their money is only going to hurt you in the end dumbasses.
January 5, 2011 - 8:06am#17
Peter, I have found that it is absolutely impossible to convince people(those who buy into the class envy meme that the left pushes) that you can't tax your way to prosperity. No one has yet produced an example of an economy that pulled itself out of recession by taking more money out of the pockets of those who create and sustain jobs.
January 5, 2011 - 9:24am#18
Guys, John Perry is correct, the poll was designed to get that specific result.
January 5, 2011 - 10:19am#19
Yes it was but those are the three biggest spending areas in the budget as well. I would have added adopt the Fair Tax as a option to raise revenue over time.